When you go to a store to look for a monitor, the shelves are full of signs with the resolutions and inches of the monitors. However, there is one piece of data that they don’t announce – and that we have to look for on our own in the monitor data – and that is the response time: a fundamental element in monitors which guarantees us a better gaming experience. This article explains everything about this characteristic.

The response time measures the time delay when a rapid action is being carried out on the screen. Although it sounds similar, it has nothing to do with the delay that occurs when we click a button on the mouse and there is a pause in carrying out the corresponding action. That is called input lag.

What is monitor response time?

This characteristic measures how fast a pixel can change from white to black or from one shade of grey to another. A shade of grey represents the intensity with which the colors will be displayed on the monitor. It is as if it were a filter: the more grey there is, the less light will pass through. The unit that is used to measure this specification is the millisecond, since the frames are present on 60 Hz monitors for less than 17 milliseconds.

The pixels need to make the transitions very fast in order to be able to display the next frame in time. A monitor that has a response time less than 17ms does not necessarily mean it is the best, but a longer response time can cause Ghosting, in which we can see the trace of an object moving across the screen because the pixels are too slow in changing between the different shades of grey.

This specification primarily affects gaming users or those using audio-visual content, since elements can appear on the screen that worsen the experience. In the gamers’ world there are different assessments about which is the best response time: some users say that there is no noticeable difference in times less than 5ms, while others say that it is necessary that it be 1 or 2ms.

TN monitors are the fastest and are able to achieve lower response times, although with lower image quality and angles of vision than IPS monitors, which have longer response times. So TN monitors are great for gaming. However, the companies don’t have a standard that will tell you how to measure these characteristics, so we could be disappointed when we first use our new monitor. Be sure to check out this particular spec if you’re an avid gamer with an eye for detail.

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